Intersect News #23 August 2010

30 Jul 2010

AMMRF Technique Finder launched

At the recent launch of the Technique Finder: the AMMRF’s Communications & Design Officer, Uli Eichhorn; AMMRF General Manager, Dr Miles Apperley; Intersect eResearch Analyst, Dr Anne Cregan; AMMRF Marketing and Business Development Manager, Dr Jenny Whiting and AMMRF Executive Director, Prof Simon Ringer. Photo: Peter Hines

A new tool to help researchers navigate their way to world-class microscopy and microanalysis capability has been launched at the 21st Australian Conference of Microscopy and Microanalysis in Brisbane.

Developed by Intersect for the Australian Microscopy & Microanalysis Research Facility (AMMRF), the Technique Finder is the first of two main deliverables.  The Technique Finder is a web application that enables AMMRF users to identify the techniques most suited to their research, based on a researcher-centric approach and terminology as opposed to instrument-oriented jargon.

AMMRF Executive Director, Prof Simon Ringer said, “The AMMRF offers a complete user experience involving stages of project registration, planning and training followed by data gathering, analysis, management and publication. Intersect is enabling improvement of this experience through the development of tools that enable researchers to identify, access and apply appropriate microscopy techniques quickly”.

This project is funded by the National eResearch Architecture Taskforce. For more information, see
Technique Finder can be accessed at

Rainfall project

The Rainfall Data Collection project involved Intersect building web forms to allow farmers to upload rainfall data. Researchers at the University of Sydney’s Australian Centre for Precision Agriculture, will combined the farm records with existing data from the Bureau of Meteorology to develop a new type of local seasonal climate predictor. Individualised forecasts will then be delivered to many thousands of grain farmers.

Innovation Committee nominates new Innovation project

Intersect’s Innovation Committee met last week and endorsed the next Innovation project for development. Flow Data Flow will simplify the process of cleaning and sharing time-series data, considerably reducing the time between data capture and data analysis. While the project began with a river and wetlands focus, it has been revised more broadly, in response to interest from researchers at other institutions. The technology delivered will be immediately applicable to most disciplines that use sensors to collect time-series data.

The research community will benefit from the Flow Data Flow toolkit in the following ways:

  • the quality of analysis will increase,
  • the time between data capture and analysis will reduce,
  • the cost of data cleaning will reduce,
  • the capacity to share data will be enhanced, by providing a shared repository.

The project already involves six Intersect members: the University of Sydney, UNSW, Southern Cross University, the University of Newcastle, the University of New England and Macquarie University.

HPC Resource Allocation round opens this week

Intersect is about to start the next round of resource allocations for HPC resources. The call will open this week and remain open until Tuesday 31 August. Allocations will be for access to both McLaren and NCI facilities for the period from 1 October to 31 March 2011.  Applications can be made online at We continue to encourage new users, including from smaller institutions, non-traditional HPC disciplines as well as research students to avail themselves of the opportunity to use HPC.

Recruiting eResearch Analysts, Software Engineers

The eResearch Analyst role combines IT analysis and engagement with a broad range of world-class research activities.  We currently have vacancies in western Sydney and Sydney CBD. We’re also seeking energetic and bright software engineers with strong Java & web applications or strong C & Perl experience. For further information, see

kind regards

Leonie Hellmers

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